Athlete's Foot among the only threats to Hamilton's title, says Horner.

07/08/2019
NEWS STORY

Having won two of the last four races, and scored 81 points to Lewis Hamilton's 63 over the same period, some are eyeing the possibility of Max Verstappen going on to claim the 2019 title.

Red Bull boss, Christian Horner isn't one of them.

Pointing to the fact that Hamilton is 69 points ahead of the Dutch youngster, has eight wins to Max's two, and Mercedes has won 73% of the races since the introduction of the hybrid formula, Horner also insists that 2018 is a "building year" with its new engine partner, Honda.

Consequently, the Briton believes it would take the mother of all upsets to prevent Hamilton and Mercedes claiming their sixth titles.

"Lewis is now over 70 points ahead, which is close to a three-race advantage with nine to go," said Horner. "So basically he would have to not turn up for three races, if his cough comes back or something or he gets athlete's foot, it's hugely unlikely.

"They would have to f*** up by gargantuan proportions not to win this championship," he added. "But our target for the rest of the year is to close that gap, and hopefully some races will work out the other way around for us, and as we get more performance on the car, Honda make progress, this is very much a building year as we got to 2020."

The Briton also admitted that the second half of the season is likely to see grid penalties for his team as Honda continues its aggressive development programme.

"We are not in the Constructors' Championship, and we are a significant way off in the Drivers' Championship," he said. "So if there is a way to introduce new engines in the second half of the year that bring more performance and therefore more learning, then absolutely."

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Published: 07/08/2019
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